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Environmental Deterioration
Necessarily rapid increases in agricultural production, both of ci livestock, in many areas increase erosion, soil and water deteriorat destruction of wildlife and natural areas. Pollution, caused by the in inate use of pesticides, poisons people and domestic and wild animals.
Over a billion births will have to be prevented during the next 30 bring down the world's population growth rate from the present 2 per year to an annual rate of 1 percent by the year 2000. The task r be the most difficult mankind has ever faced, for it involves the mo: mental characteristic of all life—the need to reproduce itself. An dented effort is demanded, yet success will depend on the private ai hundreds of millions of individual couples.
Until very recently, few nations had explicit population-influem icies. Like the movement of a glacier, population changes were ba ceptible from year to year and yet were inexorable in character, se beyond the range of government policy. Only within the last few yea the vastly accelerated rates of population growth have become app all, have governments recognized the needs and the possibility of ac protect their people from the consequences of their own fertility effect reductions in fertility. Population policies are thus a new and area for politicians and administrators, who have neither tradition n< consensus to guide them.
Nevertheless, many governments of developing countries are now ; policies aimed at reducing birth rates and high rates of population During the 1960's fifteen governments in Asia, nine in Africa, and f Latin America and the Caribbean area began to undertake fertility programs, or to give support to unofficial programs in the absence ol formulation of government policy. The total population of the c which have or support family planning programs is nearly 1,900 mi percent of the population of the less developed world. Several of countries, many intergovernmental agencies, and private foundations viding financial help and expert advice for these fertility control prog
This book is designed to stimulate planners and decision-makers oped and developing nations to examine the consequences of rapid tion growth for their own social and economic policies and patterns o That governments can and will take action we assume as the natural c . human affairs. Our goal is to encourage a thoughtful examinatio consequences of rapid population growth and their implications f( policy.